Belfast Telegraph

Woman went on shop theft spree before heading back to Lithuania

Embarrassed: Monika Turauskaite
Embarrassed: Monika Turauskaite

By Nevin Farrell

A Lithuanian woman who was "lonely in Northern Ireland" embarked on a shoplifting spree after booking a one-way ticket home.

Monika Turauskaite (21) from Ashgrove Park in Magherafelt, was caught with clothing worth £380 stolen from the Nike Store at The Junction in Antrim town.

It was also discovered she had goods worth £230 taken from a nearby Asda supermarket.

The detections were made on Saturday, June 29, Coleraine Magistrates Court heard.

The defendant admitted two charges of theft.

A prosecutor said a buzzer sounded at the Asda exit and when challenged it was established the defendant had not paid for goods which were recovered and fit for re-sale.

It was established items of clothing in the trolley had been stolen from the Nike store at The Junction and they were also fit for re-sale.

The court heard that because the defendant had booked a one-way ticket to her homeland she had been remanded in custody over the weekend.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said the defendant, who had a clear record, was a "total novice" at shoplifting.

Turauskaite had come to Northern Ireland at the age of 18 and planned to return to Lithuania tomorrow.

The solicitor said if the defendant had not volunteered that information she would not have spent the weekend in custody ahead of appearing in court.

Mr Ballentine said the defendant was "lonely" in Northern Ireland and with all her family living in Lithuania she wanted to return there.

He said the defendant did not know why she shoplifted.

Mr Ballentine said Turauskaite accepted her actions had been "stupid" and she was embarrassed to be in court.

The solicitor said it would be the first and last time she would ever be in a court either here or in Lithuania. Turauskaite was given a two-month jail term, suspended for a year.

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